11/27/2012 2:09:00 PM Holiday giving options abound in Williams Food drive, bell ringing, Toys for Kids program and more provide volunteering opportunities to Williams residents through Christmas
Santa Claus arrives in downtown Williams atop the Grand Canyon Railway’s float during the Mountain Village Holiday Parade of Lights Nov. 24. Volunteer opportunities abound throughout Williams this holiday season. Clara Beard/WGCN
WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The season for giving is here, and several local groups have organized projects to help brighten the holidays for community members in need.
The Williams Food Bank is sponsoring its annual food drive that will continue until Christmas.
Guy Mikkelsen, who runs the Food Bank, said he is looking for nonperishable and holiday food items.
Those interested in donating may drop off food at FooteWork Auto License and Title Service, AJ's Mini Mart, Red Lake Texaco or Safeway.
Fresh food items may be dropped off at the Food Bank, 200 S. Ninth St.
Mikkelsen said the Food Bank gave out more than 300 food boxes for Thanksgiving.
"That was our goal, so we were happy to get that all together," he said.
More information is available from Mikkelsen at (928) 635-2913.
The Williams branch of the Salvation Army kicked off its bell-ringing program at the Mountain Village Holiday tree lighting event Nov. 24.
The familiar red kettles will be stationed at the Grand Canyon Railway, Safeway and National Bank of Arizona until Dec. 22.
The money collected goes toward providing holiday meals, clothing, toys and basic necessities to families in need.
Those interested in volunteering may call (928) 221-3577.
Toys for Kids
The Williams Lions Club is organizing the Toys for Kids project, which they have been doing since 1945. The program gives toys to needy children in the Williams area.
The Lions will place cards with the names of children on Christmas trees at National Bank of Arizona, North Country HealthCare clinic and the Williams Ranger District Office. Those interested in donating may choose a card from the tree, buy an appropriate gift for that child, wrap it and return it by Dec. 17. Interested donors may also give cash donations or unwrapped gifts.
Lions Club members will deliver the gifts.
People who would like to suggest a child 12 or younger to be considered for the program should contact Jackie Haugen with the child's name, age, sex, phone number and address.
More information is available from Haugen at (928) 635-5242.
The Williams Kiwanis Club will host its tenth annual Community Holiday Dinner from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at Doc Holliday's Steakhouse, 950 N. Grand Canyon Blvd.
Everyone in the community is welcome. Kiwanis member Bud Parenteau said the club fed about 550 people last year and is cooking for 600 this year.
The meal will include "all the trimmings," including turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes and cookies.
Other organizations help out with the event, including Rotary, the American Legion, and the Lion's Club.
In addition to the meal, the Kiwanis Club is raffling off 10 bicycles for boys and girls in different age groups.
All children who attend will receive a gift from Santa, and Santa will also be available for pictures. Parenteau recommends families bring their own cameras.
Kiwanis started the Community Holiday Dinner as a way to serve a Thanksgiving meal to those who otherwise would not have one. But after finding it was too difficult to determine who was in need, they decided to offer the dinner to everyone.
"We have families who can afford it, they just want to support what we're going to do," Parenteau said.
More information is available from Carol Glassburn at (928) 635-4503.